Jamming Ebullient Melodies since 1999 : Euphony
Mar 20, 2017 | Dibya
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo
Euphony, the rock band of NITR, after a long struggle for 18 years is finally standing high and has been able to win the hearts of the NITR junta and even those outside. Although a lot of line-ups have been formed, broken and formed again, the current line up is deemed to be working well and they went on to record their first album. The band has always worked hard to its fullest potential and is finally gaining recognition not only in the institute but also on various other forums. Team MM met with the president of Euphony, Sambit Behura to find out about their journey so far.
The 18-year Long Journey
Euphony started its journey in the year 1999. There were very few clubs like Synergy and some Literary Clubs, back then. Ever since, the band has evolved in terms of individual calibre as well as the type of genre they play. The genre Euphony used to play back then is quite different from what they play today. Back then it was soft rock, pop, and indie pop music but today Euphony’s taste has changed and they mostly play hard rock songs.
Euphony has also had its fair share of struggle in standing out as the best rock band club of NITR. It had a lot of ups and downs. There were several instances when the band was broken down and a completely new line-up had to be built. Nevertheless, Euphony fought the battle and emerged as victorious.
During the period 2004-2007, they had a very gifted line-up. The band had participated in Wildfire which was a national contest held in IIT Kharagpur. They went on to qualify for semi-finals finals. They had also participated in Sargam, Spring fest, IIT Kharagpur and won two times in a row. Previously they focused more on winning competitions but the current band members are focussing more on professional pursuits because they believe that even after winning a lot of competitions and doing numerous stage shows, at the end of the day they will have to start doing such work to gain true success.
Sambit Behura, President of Euphony opined:
I spoke to one of our founder members recently, Saurav Biswas, who is an engineer in Berlin, Germany. He was extremely elated to hear that the club which he founded 18 years back has survived till date.
When asked about the struggles that Euphony faced, Sambit Behura said:
I joined the band in 2014. I was handed over the post of the President in my second year because there was no proper line up. It was really tough for me to shoulder this responsibility. When I was in my first year, Euphony was struggling hard to recover from the one year break that it had taken since the previous members had graduated and it was difficult to rope in good musicians, all over again. I along with my team started building it up from scratch. When I was in my second year, the band again broke down because all the major members graduated and so after that the Euphony which you see today was built by us.
The budget that Euphony used to get earlier was pretty less. In 2014, they had a meager budget of INR 15,000. The instruments were in a pretty bad condition, there was no proper band room, no proper drums, amplifiers etc. and there was just a guitar. Euphony and Heartbeats used to manage with their own instruments. Finally in 2015, Prof Vamshi Reddy helped in increasing their budget to INR 50,000 and in 2016, it was INR 75,000 plus an additional of INR 40,000 which was spent in renovating the instruments and buying a license for their album.
Sambit Behura, President, Euphony remembering his days of struggle said:
Last year I and Prem Depon from Heartbeats decided to pass a budget of INR 7 lakhs in order bring quality instruments to institute. Finally a budget of INR 4.5 lakhs was sanctioned and we got quality amplifiers, guitars, keyboards, a drum set worth INR 1.3 lakhs and now we have a proper room with instruments. Even now in Hall 8 there is a music room. Although it is limited and has fewer instruments but in my opinion it is better than the SAC room because it is sound proof. It has good interiors and looks more like a music room. This initiative was also taken by Euphony senior when I was in my first year.
Rise of Euphony
Euphony has been on a rise since the past 2 years. It has become a common name among the NITR junta. Some of Euphony’s major breakthrough performances in the institute have been during the Zonasa 2k15, Innovision 2k15, and ISM 2k16.
Last year Euphony roped in Jwngsar Daimary from Architecture department as the lead guitarist and Baby Hmar, a PhD student joined as their lead vocalist. This year Eric Raymond (who has currently left the institute) joined as a bass guitarist along with Swapnil Sarkar and Zapovil Kintso. The core members are Sambit Behura, Jwngsar Daimary, Baby Hmar, Mruganka Mishra, Eric Raymond, Shradhanshu Padhihary and Padmanav Mishra.
Extremely elated with their recent success, Sambit reminiscing his victories said:
We have a very good line up since the last year. After we started performing and we had tremendsously dedicated people like Baby and Jwngsar who used to enthrall the crowd with their performances. People used to watch them and liked their performance. It was pretty successful when we performed during the Zonasa event. There was a huge crowd and the response was pretty good. After that people started recognising us. Then we had ISM in 2016 followed by the Innovision last year. Particularly Innovision was a huge hit. The crowd knew our songs, they were crazy and it felt really good.
Making of the album “VICTORY”
After their successful stints in Innovision 2k15 and ISM 2k16, they realized their potential and approached Prof Vamshi Reddy for an album named VICTORY. Although they haven’t been to many competitions, they definitely had impressed a lot of producers which is why they even got calls from an entertainment company asking them to sign a contract with them for 2 years but that was not feasible on the part of any member since all of them are students and touring colleges and giving performances would need them to skip their studies.
Sharing the initial battles that Euphony had to face before making the album, Sambit said,
The idea to come up with an album came to us in March 2016 and we were pretty confident that we can actually pull this off but we needed funding from the institute. So when we came back from the vacations in July, we had composed quite a good number of songs. Prof Vamshi Reddy assured us that he would support us with whatever funds FMS can provide them. Some of the producers had also approached us to work with them in making the album but working with good producers meant that they will get it done through a record company and the whole thing will become so professional that the institute won’t approve of it. Moreover they would not fund the entire thing which is why we had to have sponsors and NIT was our lone sponsor. So we couldn’t leave our sole producer.
Although the idea to come up with a music album had struck their minds long before but it took a bit of time since there were a lot of changes in the plan. Euphony did get in touch with studios in Calcutta where the album could have been made at a much cheaper price but the institute didn’t approve of it since many of the smaller studios are devoid of proper documents and tax certificates. Moreover, they were planning to go for the recording in January but little did they know that one of their band members would be quitting. This was definitely a major blow to them which is why they had to shift their schedule to March.
Initially, Euphony had proposed a budget of INR 2.5 lakhs eyeing all the advertisements, promotion, and the making of the album. The institute eventually sanctioned INR 1.9 lakhs. The Dean and the Director also agreed to it but after that it has been a long hectic ordeal getting the money from the institute. However, the whole Euphony family has been overwhelmingly thankful to the institute for allowing them to go for such a big album. Prof Vamshi Reddy and Prof Mohammed Saleem, Faculty Advisor of Euphony were instrumental in convincing the Director, SAC President and the audit to allow them to take such a huge step. The institute has sanctioned a hefty sum of INR 1,15,000 for the production and 80% of the money that is INR 92,000 has already been paid by the institute.
When asked about Euphony’s journey to Bangalore, Sambit Behura said,
We spoke to Audiokraft studios in Bangalore as they are one of the finest studios in India. I had a personal contact over there. They do not generally allow independent bands but after listening to some of our demo tracks they were really impressed with our tracks and called us. They gave us an 8 day slot over there. It was very difficult convincing them for the 8 day slot but eventually we managed to convince them and proceeded with the recording of the album.The studio booking was from March 5th to 12th. It was a great studio with amazing interiors and highly professional musicians. The work culture is a bit different there. People there generally do not play our genre. We play rock n roll, hard rock but people there are more in to hip hop, EDM, etc. but since they were professionals, they knew how to handle us. We recorded 7 songs in 8 days.
Euphony is collaborating with Cinematics for 3-4 videos for the album which will be released within the next 3-4 months. Euphony is planning for an international release on iTunes, Amazon, Google music, Spotify, Rhapsody, Saavn, Deezer, Soundcloud and every possible music store.
We were also in talks with the Indian Cancer Society. We were planning to start an online campaign called “Support The Fight Against Cance r- To VICTORY”. The album is named Victory. This campaign will not only serve as an awareness campaign but also as a promotional campaign for the album.
Euphony has also plans of changing the band’s name since Euphony is already a band’s name in America. So releasing an album with an existing name might lead to copyright problems which is why they have thought to of changing their band’s name toTWF (Thing With Feathers). They are also working with Cinematics for a logo for their band.
Euphony generally conducts 2 rounds of induction. Last time they inducted Baby and Shradhanshu. This time they took Eric Raymond and Anubhav Sharma. The turnout this year was pretty good. It was about 150. Since the last 2 years, Euphony has inducted only 6 people since they have been very critical in choosing members.
A lot of people come to see how a band works, our rehearsals and we really appreciate that. Sometimes they come and learn music, drums, Guitar. It feels really great that we are inspiring them to take up music as a hobby or as their career.
It’s for the first time that any technical college is funding their students for making an album. It has never been about winning competitions. It has always been that the line up which comes should have greater opportunity than the previous batch of students. Their aim has always been to increase the scope of Euphony beyond the institute so that people come to know about their work.